SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It was day two of the Sanford International on Tuesday as the PGA Tour Champions players took to Minnehaha Country Club for their practice rounds. As the Sanford International enters year four, it still provides a fun, yet challenging tournament for the golfers.
Last year’s Sanford International was the first PGA Tour Champions event with fans allowed back in.
“That’s one of the hardest things on the tour, when you’re playing with no one around, there’s not a lot of atmosphere. So to have the fans back was fantastic,” Rod Pampling said.
The tournament continues to be a hit in Sioux Falls.
“They show up, they support the event and that’s a big deal. This is a perfect market for the Champions Tour. We come out here and it’s a big summer event, everybody comes out and they show their support,” Paul Goydos.
While having fans back is now a normal sight across the tour, as it returns to Sioux Falls, the golf course has a different feel.
“The course this year is a lot drier than it was last year. So learning the bounces on Sunday was key last year. hopefully we’ve got the course a little drier this year, which I like firm, fast courses,” Pampling said.
Paul Goydos has played in all 3 prior Sanford Internationals and has a pair of top 10 finishes. He says Minnehaha Country Club provides a great variety of golf holes.
“You have holes where you feel you should birdie, the par 5, 12’s a birdie hole, but it has some really hard holes. Seven is one of the hardest par 4 on the Champions Tour, if not the hardest par 4 on the Champions Tour. Has got some hard par 3’s and then it’s got some birdie opportunities,” Paul Goydos said.
Two of the three Sanford International Champions have finished at 13 under or better. Players expect a similar score will be reached this year.
“If the course plays the way it is, I’m thinking around 15 will be pretty close to it. So it’s don’t want to put a number in my head straight away, but that’s kind of the goal I’m shooting at. Which it’s gettable here, definitely try to keep it on the short grass and take advantage of the par 5’s,” Pampling said.
The Pro-Am’s will be held Wednesday and Thursday at Minnehaha Country Club. The the first round of the 2021 Sanford International will tee off Friday morning.